The longer nights, plummeting temperatures and wet conditions mean that caring for our horses is more challenging and takes a little extra effort. The winter months seem to drag on with no end in sight.
Check out some of these tips to make the colder days a little bit easier:
- Ensure your horse has plenty of forage; feeding plenty of forage actually helps to keep your horse warm. This is because the microbes and bacteria in the horse’s hind-gut produce heat when fermenting forage.
- Horses will often reduce their water intake as temperatures fall, sometimes by up to 40%. If possible keep the water source warm by topping up their water buckets with hot water twice daily.
- Fill a couple of large water containers in case your pipes freeze. Be sure to fill them every evening to ensure a constant back up supply.
- Ensure any ice in buckets and troughs is broken and removed. Placing a few apples in a water trough can help prevent it from freezing. It can also help provide some environmental enrichment for your horse.
- Rubber buckets are easier to remove ice from than plastic buckets. Plastic buckets used for water can also crack when they freeze.
- If your horse is living out, ensure they have access to a sheltered area.
- If your horse has a fine or clipped coat consider moving them into a heavier weighted rug to keep them warm. Try not to over-rug your horse, not every horse will need a rug. Check out the rugs available from the RED MILLS Store!